Wilhelmsen Ship Management and Airbus have launched the world’s first shore-to-ship drone delivery project during a pilot in the Port of Singapore.
According to a statement, the initiative saw a variety of small, time-critical items flown from the port to vessels at anchorage during real-time operations.
An Airbus Skyways drone delivered 3D printed consumables from Wilhelmsen’s onshore 3D printing micro-factory along a pre-determined 1.5km route before returning. In total, the journey took approximately 10 minutes.
A brand new Port Technology technical paper explores how port-centric logistics can enable smarter trade
Though previous trials have explored the viability of drone delivery from tug boat to vessel, this is the first time it has taken place over such a long distance.
Marius Johansen, VP Commercial, Wilhelmsen Ships Agency, commented on the successful pilot: “The now proven, seamless operation of drone deliveries from shore-to-ship, in one of the world’s busiest ports, proves the hard work, investment and faith we, and indeed our partners, placed in the Agency by Air drone delivery project over the past two years was not misplaced.
“Delivery of essential spares, medical supplies and cash to Master via launch boat, is an established part of our portfolio of husbandry services, which we provide day in and day out, in ports all over the world.
“Modern technology such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), is just a new tool, albeit a very cool one, with which we can push our industry ever forward and improve how we serve our customers.”